Prince Harry and Meghan took my Instagram name

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A driving instructor who had his Instagram name taken away and given to Prince Harry and Meghan says he feels “flattered” but also “annoyed”.

Kevin Keiley had used @sussexroyal to reflect his love of Reading FC and his home county of Sussex for around three years.

But he found out Instagram had changed his handle and given his name to the royal couple without asking him.

Instagram says his handle was changed to “prevent digital squatting”.

Kevin, who lives in Worthing in West Sussex, says the first he knew that his name had been given away was when he got a text.

Reading FC are nicknamed The Royals and the 55-year-old is a huge fan – which is why his Instagram handle was @sussexroyal.

“I got a jokey text from my son which said ‘Ha ha, I see your handle has gone then’,” he tells Radio 1 Newsbeat.

“I thought ‘What’s that all about?’ He said ‘Look on Instagram’ so I looked on Instagram and suddenly my handle wasn’t @sussexroyal anymore it was @_sussexroyal_

“It had been taken.”

Kevin admits that he didn’t have that many followers and didn’t post often – but he would use it to like and follow other people’s posts.

He says no-one from the Royal Family or from Instagram contacted him beforehand to ask if they could make the change.

Prince Harry and Meghan’s Instagram handle references their royal title – The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

Their account was launched on Tuesday and broke a world record for reaching one million followers in the fastest ever time.

Instagram confirmed to Newsbeat that Kevin’s handle had been changed in line with its policy.

It allows it to make changes to an account if it’s been inactive for a certain amount of time.

Kevin says he hasn’t been on Instagram since finding out it changed his name without asking – and he’s “annoyed” its people didn’t contact him.

“I’m a bit loath to use Instagram until I have a chat with them personally.”

Kevin also has the same name on Twitter – which he’s currently managed to hang on to.

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“I can tell you that Twitter’s gone mental. I used to have four followers and in 24 hours I’ve gone up to about 198,” he says.

“What I’m trying to do is keep tweeting therefore they can’t take it if it’s active. I don’t know what the royals are planning down the line.”

So what would Kevin say to Prince Harry and Meghan if he got the chance?

“Hello Harry and Meghan. If you do want my Twitter account as well can you at least have the decency to speak to me?”

Kevin says his phone hasn’t stopped pinging and he’s also been receiving rude messages from trolls on Twitter.

“I didn’t ask for this. I’ve had the account for years – it’s not very pleasant,” he says.

“We just put up with it don’t we? I’m sure famous people put up with it millions of times a day.”

Kevin says he will probably go back on to Instagram one day but adds: “I don’t think I’ll be following the royals.”

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